TABANAN – Bamboo forest in Sandan, Baturiti, Tabanan, Bali is not widely known. However, the 400 hectares of forest is believed to be a source of blessings and safety for the local redisents. From this forest, the water flowing through their rice fields and keep maintained.
Later, there is a hope that this forest will also develop into an area of natural tourism and education through collaboration with the Bali Gadjah Mada (Kagama) Alumni Family. “We initiated a collaboration with farmer groups to provide assistance,” said the Head of the Regional Office of Kagama, IGN Agung Diatmika on Sunday (20/12/2020).
This event was a part of the 71st Gadjah Mada University anniversary. This event was marked by planting 71 bamboo seedlings from 33 types of bamboo. All the seeds were imported from various regions. Later, all bamboo varieties in Indonesia will try to be planted there and given a special barcode so that it becomes a learning vehicle for students and researchers.
For natural tourism, Kagama can develop tour packages for tracking through the forest and enjoying the natural beauty of the hills. “If there’s a visit from the Kagama family from outside Bali, we will invite them to come here as well as other tourism villages that we guide,” he said.
The Secretary General of PP KAGAMA, Anak Agung Gede Ngurah Ari Dwipayana, emphasized that bamboo preservation is an important thing to fulfill the needs of traditional ceremonies in Bali. Even traditional Balinese building structures cannot be separated from bamboo. “The challenge is how to align economic interests and conservation,” he said.
The history of the Sandan Bamboo Forest was started from 2004. At that time, the Regent of Tabanan, I Nyoman Adi Wiryatama, received directions from the central government to reforest the 400 hectares of land at that location. “The forest was very bare, then there was a reforestation program by the central government. Tt was handed over to the community around this village,” said Adi.
Two years on, unfortunately the program run by the central government has not been supported by local residents. They farmed at will until some began to build small buildings on state-owned land. “Finally, we persuaded the community by being allowed to farm in this forest on the condition that this forest was planted with bamboo,” he explained.
“After the bamboos grow big and many with 12 local varieties, the community cannot farming again and finally leave this place. So, we expel them without violence. This is what made me get Kalpataru from President SBY,” stated the figure who is now ruled as Head of DPRD Bali.
Now, the public awareness of this bamboo forests has increased. There is even a Wana Kerta Lestari farmer group that specializes in maintaining and protecting bamboo forests. “Now the water condition is good, the young people here have started to maintain this forest. In the future we will ask the government and groups like Kagama to continue to help,” he said. (Kanalbali / ACH)